Meal Prep Sunday is the hottest trend among health and fitness folks these days. Prep as many healthy meals as you can on a Sunday, divide them into containers and you have nourishing food all set to go for the week. It saves you time and money and keeps you organized and on track.
We are firm believers in the power of Meal Prep Sunday. That's why we turned to the meal prep pros and asked them to share their best piece of meal prep advice so we can all crush it on our next #MealPrepSunday!
When it comes to meal prep, Registered Dietitian, Nicole Osinga, recommends separating the tasks of planning, shopping and cooking.
Nicole explains that many people think meal prep takes too much time, which may be true if try to do all of your planning, shopping and cooking on the same day.
"I find it works best for me if I plan my meals and groceries for the next week by Thursday, shop on Friday on my way home from work (grocery stores are less busy at this time!) and prep on Saturday or Sunday. I usually only end up cooking for about 2 hours on the weekend - leaving the rest of the weekend for me to do whatever I please!"
Taylor from Food Faith Fitness said her best tip for meal prep day is to roast a ton of different vegetables.
"This will easily add a lot of variety to your weekly meals, as you can try out different vegetables to get some different flavors."
Consider roasting your vegetables in different spices to add more flavour and keep things exciting!
Lexi Davidson is the founder and author of Lexi's Clean Kitchen. When it comes to meal prep, she advises to stay organized, avoid overwhelm and to just have fun with it.
"Take one day to plan your recipes (pick things that will last a few days and that you won't get sick of), make your shopping list, and get your shopping done. On the next day, prep a few recipes, store, and enjoy all week long!"
A few of Lexi's favourite things to meal prep are egg cups, chili, and chicken salads.
Dietitian Rachel Paul is all about being realistic and incorporating flexibility. We love her "intuitive" approach to meal prep!
Rachel recommends not trying to prep all of your meals for the week on one day, but rather splitting your prep into a pre-week session, and mid-week session:
"If you get tired of eating the same thing over and over, it's a good indication that you shouldn't meal prep once for the whole week. Set aside an hour or so one evening mid-week (e.g. Wednesday) to prep another dish based on what type of food you're feeling like. This way you can more easily and realistically stick with your health goals."
Holistic Nutritionist, Mandy King, is all about maximizing time in the kitchen by creating multiple servings. She recommends always cooking more than you need for one meal, so that you can enjoy it two or three times afterwards.
"When you're already spending time in the kitchen to make a meal, it takes very little extra time to make two or three times the portions, and it will pay off in spades when you have a lunch ready for the next day, or you get home after a long day and have dinner waiting in the fridge!"
For example: if you're cooking for two people, make a dish that serves six. If you're cooking for one person, make a dish that serves three.
Lacey Baier from A Sweet Pea Chef has very simple, yet sound advice for your meal prep day:
"Make sure you choose meals you love to eat so you'll be excited and motivated to keep it up."
Jennifer Barr is known for her absolutely gorgeous plant-based meal prep, so we were dying to know how she pulls this off on a weekly basis.
"My freezer saves me week to week. I always make at least one recipe for my weekly prep that is 'freezer friendly'."
Jennifer explains that once you get more meal prep experience, you'll get more familiar with certain types of food and meals that can be re-heated and kept in your freezer.
"As much as you plan, life happens and food can go to waste. So if you can save your food by freezing it and carry it over for the next following weeks that is a total win!"
She also noted that freezing food is really great for people who can't bare the thought of eating the same thing day after day. Batch cooking different dishes, making extra sauces, pre-cutting various types of fruit and freezing them really helps to keep things fresh and interesting. Freeze on friends!
Taylor Stinson, also known as The Girl On Bloor, is all about keeping things quick and easy when it comes to meal prep. Instead of buying a ton of different ingredients, Taylor suggests keeping it simple by picking just a few staple ingredients, and then using them multiple times throughout the week.
"Pick recipes that will use the same kinds of vegetables, but have different proteins and sauces for variety. For example, you could choose recipes that all use broccoli, red pepper, mushrooms and carrots so you can be sure to use up all of your veggies instead of having odds and ends left over in your fridge at the end of the week."
Beth from Budget Bytes believes that that cooking on a budget shouldn't mean canned beans and ramen noodles night after night. She's a master of meal prepping and has some great advice for those just starting out with meal prep:
"Start small. Don't try to prep three meals per day for a whole week the very first time you meal prep. Start with one recipe, one meal for four days and work your way up so you can learn your boundaries for how long things stay 'good' in the fridge, or what types of ingredients you don't like to eat as leftovers. Meal prepping is all about making it work for you."
Do you meal prep? Share your tips with us in the comments below!